Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Feb 13–19 (30 Beers)

Here’s last week’s tasting notes. Sorry it’s a little late. I’m still fighting the dregs of the flu and it takes a while to do notes on 30 beers!

If you want to follow my developing alcoholism in real-time, feel free to follow me on Untappd. 🙂


Grand Cru (aged 5 years)—North Coast Brewing Company

The years have been very kind to this bottle and seemed to have transformed it into something beyond beer. The alcohol heat has mellowed and at some point it developed a slight funkiness. It had aspects that reminded me of an old fashioned cocktail made with bourbon or brandy, along with some champagne qualities, as well as lots of Belgian yeast character. Full review.

Colour & Shape—Superflux Beer Company

Everything I know about IPAs says you should drink them as fresh as possible. However, I’ve heard rumours that this East Coast haze monster is actually better after a few weeks. Well, this can was in my fridge for a month and it was even more flavourful than my first. I guess it has to do with conditioning the beer in the can. Full review.

Triplicity Belgian Tripel—Four Winds Brewing

This is a wonderfully unique take on a classic Belgian tripel. I’ve read a few online reviews that claim this has sage in it, but this is not the case. Wild sage honey is created by bees that pollinate many types of flowers, but mostly sage flowers. This means there is sage pollen in the honey, which adds a wonderful sweetness and light floral character to the beer that is a nice change from the commonly used candi sugar. Full review.

Singularity (2017)—Driftwood Brewery

At 13.2%. this year’s Singuarity was big and boozy! The bourbon was a little hot, but the coffee, toffee, chocolate, and dark fruit notes still peaked through. Aging it a while should add a little better balance.

Myrkvi Nr.13—Borg Brugghús

If you’ve not had a beer from Icelandic brewery Borg Brugghús before, then you are missing out. This well-rounded and smooth stout with notes coffee, chocolate, dark toasty malts. It hits all the right notes.

Absolute Horizon CDA—Bomber Brewing

An old classic from Bomber with an updated formula, this cascadian dark ale has a great balance of dark malt and hops. The mix of Galaxy, Horizon, Comet, and Apollo hops gives it notes of citrus, pine, and marijuana.

2×4 DIPA—Melvin Brewing 

Hmmm, I didn’t notice that this Double IPA was packing last June! However, it was still quite fresh, having been protected from light by the can. This was a big hop bomb with tons of floral and citrus punch.

Quads & Rockers—Beau’s

This is was a rich and malty Belgian-style quad with lots of alcohol warmth and notes of raisins, cocoa, banana, and clove.

Londen—Dageraad Brewing

Listed as a Canadian take on a Belgian rendition of a English porter, this interesting concoction has the coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and brown sugar notes of a porter, with the spicy and fruity notes of Belgian yeast. Bizarre but delicious!

Shake Your Fruity Milkshake IPA—R&B Brewing

Another BC take on an East Coast Milkshake IPA. I liked it, but felt like It could have done with a lot more fruit. I also don’t feel like they had the East Coast style down right—there was very little haze. Twin Sails’ Two Straws still reigns supreme.

Blonde—Dageraad Brewing

A classic from Dageraad, this is a complex Belgian-style blonde with notes of fruit, citrus, pepper, clove notes, and nutty malt, with a medium-dry finish.

High Five Hazy IPA—Yellow Dog Brewing

A nice little hazy East Coast IPA with tropical fruit notes and little perceived bitterness.

Featherweight IPA by Four Winds Brewing

I normally hate session IPAs. They always taste soapy to me. However, this one had loads of nice citrusy hop flavour, while still being light. Another winner from Four Winds.

Penelope the Tart—Strange Fellows Brewing

This passion fruit kettle sour had a nice balance of citric acid tartness to balance out the lactic acid sourness. The passion fruit aroma and flavour was really prominant!

Rye the Longface Imperial Rye IPA—Parallel 49 Brewing Company

This 8.5% rye IPA had  tons of rye spice, citrus hops, and a touch of biscuit malt. I liked it, but feel the balance wasn’t quite right. Perhaps the extra alcohol obscured things a little?

Goldilocks—Strange Fellows Brewing

Oh wow! This Belgian golden strong is rich, with candi sugar, banana, clove, and warming alcohol. Strange Fellows really nailed the style here. I’d rank this up there with Gulden Draak and Son of the Morning.

Apparition—Four Winds Brewing

White ale, white IPA, hopfenweizen… Whatever you call it, this beer is delicious with lots of spicy wheat character and tons of pineapple and citrus from the hops. More of a spring/summer beer, but makes a nice change from all the stouts on the market right now.

Happyness—Superflux Beer Company

East meets west in this fantastic beer from Superflux. It has tons of light fruity East coast character, but also citrus and pine notes like a West Coast IPA. It’s a great balance and hides it’s 6.8% ABV incredibly well.

Mistress of My Soul Saison—Twa Dogs

This saison has definitely improved since the first batch. It has some mild fruity and pepper ester notes, but not a lot of Belgian yeast character.

Amarillo Sour—Powell Brewery

This kettle sour is dry hopped with Amarillo hops to bring out flavours and aromas of apricot, peach, melon and citrus. It’s really refreshing!

Nocturnum—Strange Fellows Brewing

One of my favourite black IPAs. It’s leans more towards the dark malt side than the hoppy side, but I really like the balance.

IPA—Four Winds Brewing

Part of their year-round line-up, this IPA has notes of piney hops, melon, grapefruit, and biscuit malt. So well rounded and incredibly drinkable.

Saison—Four Winds Brewing

This is a wonderful little saison with tons of Belgian yeast ester and phenol aromas and flavours, primarily banana and clove.

Oat Porter—Four Winds Brewing

The oats give this porter a smooth mouthfeel, which really enhances the dark malt notes of chocolate, coffee, and liquorice.

Shack Island Stout—White Sails Brewing

This is a pretty solid stout with some nice roast malt character and a touch of coffee, chocolate, and molasses.

Induction Dubbel—Category 12 Brewing

This delicious Belgian-style dubbel is one of the best non-Belgian dubbels I’ve ever tried. It’s right up there with Dageraad’s stuff. It has notes of figs, raisins, dates, molasses, and a touch of hops in the finish.

Hard Rain—Hoyne Brewing

Something about a 7.5% double IPA offends me. It has nice piney home notes and decent bitterness, though.

People Are Either Charming Or Tedious Maple Wee Heavy—Yukon Brewing

This was a pretty nice Scotch ale with lots of caramel flavour, a touch of peat smokiness, and a smooth sweet finish thanks to the maple. However, I found the body to be a little thin for a wee heavy.

Flagship IPA—Steamworks Brewing Company

This juicy east coast IPA won Best in Show at the 2016 BC beer awards. I’ve had this tasty juice monster several times, but I found a single bottle on sale for $1.77 and I think that made it taste even better!

1000 Light Years From Home—Red Arrow Brewing Company

Listed as a chocolate milk stout. I smelled cocoa, but actually tasted more coffee, which is odd. The lactose made it smooth, but it was a little thin. Also, over-carbonated.